(Sports Network) - After a hiccup on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers,
the Utah Jazz aim to bounce back Saturday night versus the Indiana Pacers in
the opener of a four-game homestand.
The Jazz had a four-game winning streak halted by the downtrodden Lakers
Friday night in Hollywood as Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward paced Utah with
14 and 13 points, respectively, off the bench.
"We have to understand how we have to play against a team that's playing
physical like they are," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said.
Al Jefferson had 12 points and both Paul Millsap and Randy Foye contributed 10
apiece in a losing effort.
Utah, which owns an 8-3 record in its last 11 games overall, is in the midst
of playing seven of eight games at home and is 14-4 in Salt Lake City this
season. The Jazz also have Houston, New Orleans and Portland scheduled to come
through EnergySolutions Arena.
The Pacers are in the midst of a four-game road trip where Indiana is 1-1.
They earned a great Monday afternoon victory in Memphis against the Grizzlies,
then laid an egg in Portland on Wednesday. The Pacers fell to the Trail
Blazers, 100-80, to halt Portland's six-game losing streak.
"They came out and played with great desperation," Pacers coach Frank Vogel
said of the Blazers. "It's very difficult to come out and play a really good
team on a six-game losing streak. They brought the fight to us with their
defense. Their defensive energy was great, and their ball movement is
something I envy; something that our team needs to get to."
Paul George and David West both played well on Wednesday. George scored 22
points and grabbed seven rebounds, while West had 21 points, five boards and
The Pacers, the league's best defensive team in terms of both opponents'
scoring and field-goal percentage, allowed the Blazers to shoot 56.4 percent
from the field.
It wasn't all bad after the Portland loss. George was announced as a reserve
for the Eastern Conference All-Star team at the age of 22.
"I'm extremely excited," said George. "Not only will this be my first
experience, but (it's) a chance to showcase the team and how much we've grown.
Just the adversity that we went through this year and for me to represent this
team means the most to me."
The Pacers beat the Jazz, 104-84, in Indianapolis on Dec. 19. Indiana has won
three of its last five against the Jazz, but is winless in five straight and
14 of 19 as the visitor in this series.
The Sports Network